Garment Opportunity

Italian Discounter Expands in Germany

  • Why it matters

    Why it matters

    The growing discount garment sector is creating new opportunities for low-cost retailers that may have failed to gain traction in the past.

  • Facts


    • In late 2016 OVS took over the troubled Swiss Charles Vögele group and their 280 German stores.
    • Last year OVS subsidiary Upim had a turnover of €203 million, delivering an operating profit of €17.5 million.
    • The Italian company’s first move into the German market in 2001 failed.
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OVS  Window Display, Milan, Italy
It's all change as discounters ruffle up the fashion sector. Source: Getty images

The Italian fashion outlet OVS is sharpening up competition in the German market for discount fashion.

Over the course of the year more than 100 outlets of its brands Upim and OVS are to open across Germany, Handelsblatt has learned, in part by converting outlets of the Swiss chain Charles Vögele that it acquired late last year.

Both OVS, which could be described as an H&M for older customers, and Upim, are aimed at the price-conscious shopper.

At the end of 2016, OVS took over Switzerland’s troubled Charles Vögele group, and with it their 280 German stores. It soon became clear that the Charles Vögele brand had no future on its own.

Many of the stores will be sold off, but others will become part of the Italian firm’s new push into Germany. It will be their second time making the risky move into Europe’s largest economy.

Lucky for them, the German market for cheap fashion has changed.

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